Tools for Empaths: Understanding How We Give & Receive

empaths

“A philosophy of life is a bundle of wisdom you have gathered from your reading and experience. It is not a rigid ideology that allows no development and complexity. It’s a living thing, a developing idea about life that belongs to you alone.”

 – Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul


A good yoga teacher is one who’s capable of reading the energy within the room and adapting the lesson to accommodate the current environment and shift its energy. Teachers, nurses, therapists, RMT’s, hair stylists, parents; these roles are alike in creating experiences that make people feel good about themselves. Whenever we come into contact with another person, we enter a tacit agreement of giving and receiving. Empaths are people who feel what others feel on a visceral level. Without the knowledge of how to set boundaries, an empath may take on someone else’s emotions.

Whenever we come into a relationship, it’s important to understand what’s ours and what isn’t, be it with a student, friend, sibling, parent, or significant other. It is important for us to learn how to clear negative energy, set healthy boundaries, and process intense emotions. Without an awareness of how we are affected by others and how we take up space, we may not recognize when we are holding onto a story or emotion that doesn’t serve or if we’re taking on energy or emotion that isn’t ours. 

This week in our discussion, Clara Roberts-Oss shared tools for empaths with methods on how to set boundaries as we learn all the ways we give and receive.

Interview with Clara on Tools for Empaths

Clara: An empath or an empathic person is someone who can feel the feelings that other people are feeling when they come into a shared space. So you walk into a room where you step into someone’s field and all of a sudden you feel like crying, or you feel a strong emotion that you realize is not yours.

Stephanie: You mentioned the different ways to purge energy if you’re an empath and if you’re picking up stuff that isn’t yours in how washing your hands or touching the ground are powerful ways to clear. Can you elaborate on some of the other methods? 

Clara: I feel like a lot of empaths go into the healing modalities because we have this automatic urge to take away or shift people’s pain. And then that’s why I find a lot of healers burn out because they don’t know how to cleanse the energy that they’re picking up. My martial arts teacher, Constantine Darling, shared a technique where you literally feel your feet on the ground and you allow the emotion to wash down into the earth because the earth, at least in the martial arts, can take every energy and transform it.

I’m very tactile so I like moving my toes and feeling the ground underneath me and then envisioning that I’m literally washing the emotion down my legs and into the earth. I also recommend washing your hands. Water is very, very healing. And the other thing you can do is you can shake. Shaking is something that animals will naturally do after a traumatic experience, they start to shake. Shanking releases the energy and moves the experience out. 

Stephanie: How do you work with energy when you’re teaching yoga?

Clara: As somebody who can walk into a room and feel what everyone is feeling, I need to stay grounded in myself. This is the work for all empaths. Feeling my feet and my physical body, or hearing my own breath, are all ways I ground and stay connected to myself. And widening my awareness to kind of feel the people around me and to recognize what is mine and what isn’t mine. And then also to be able to feel what other people are feeling without letting it shake me on a deeper level.

I got this technique from my martial arts teacher who works a lot with energy, which is why I loved him so much.

The practice is to choose a giver and receiver, and the giver essentially thinks of a shape or a color and sends it off to the receiver and the receiver tries to envision it. In this practice, we play with different ways of sending the image through your mind’s eye or sending the image through your heart or imagining it’s moving through your hands.

I did a lot of that kind of work for a couple of years with him. I feel like that really helped me understand what is mine and what isn’t mine. I feel like therapy really does that too.

Therapies have been a big one and self-reflective practices like meditation helped me understand how I give and receive, but it was mostly the martial arts work that I did.

We’re constantly giving and receiving, knowingly and unknowingly. Every time you come into interaction with somebody else or you come into interaction with an environment, we give and receive. And so there’s no way around it One thing that was cool about this exercise with my martial arts teacher is to recognize: am I a stronger giver or a stronger receiver? Meaning, when I come into the room, do I take up space? Do people know how I’m feeling? When I walk into the room, can I feel what everybody else is feeling? It’s an important one to understand because it also helps you get clear around your boundaries.

Stephanie: What can you say about setting boundaries? 

Clara: The biggest work is how to come back. The important part is how quickly we’re able to come back to neutral and how quickly we can forgive and let things go. This for me has been a very big lesson in my own boundary work.

People love to hold the hot coal. The coal is the anger or the conflict. And that’s a choice, to hold the coal. The coal is the story that you tell yourself, that you’re unwilling to put down. We have the choice to put the coal down whenever we want, but we keep holding onto it until all of a sudden we’re burning and we are the ones in pain. So the practice is, how quickly can I put the coal down? I feel like, at least for me, that a lot of my boundary work is to let the story go, to put down the coal, and let it go. And now in this moment, forgive myself, forgive the person across from me and ask: how do we move forward?

Stephanie: So non-attachment, to the story, conflict, or emotion. 

Clara: The other part that’s also important, and I’m also working on for myself, is transparency. Just being fully transparent in sharing with others whatever it is that I’m feeling. Giving and receiving is such a fascinating one, it’s this interaction, this play between you and whatever it is outside of you.

“During the dark night, there is no choice but to surrender control, give in to unknowing, and stop and listen to whatever signals of wisdom might come along. It’s a time of enforced retreat and perhaps unwilling withdrawal. The dark night is more than a learning experience; it’s a profound initiation into a realm that nothing in the culture, so preoccupied with external concerns and material success, prepares you for.” – Thomas Moore. Dark Night of the Soul

Clara: The dark night is when we are in something intense and when we are in shadow. When we’re in a place that is uncomfortable and unknown. 

Stephanie: Thomas Moore is celebrating the idea of being in our sadness to learn more about ourselves instead of calling it sadness. And allowing yourself to be in that experience.

Clara: As long as you have the tools. I feel like the problem that happens for a lot of people and why we shy away from those strong emotions is we haven’t ever given them the space to be fully expressed. So anger is a great indicator that there’s something stronger going on. It’s usually covering a deeper emotion, like sadness or grief. Anger shows up because anger allows us to stay in control.

Anger is one of my favorites because I love being in control. And so it’s a wonderful indicator for me. We’re not in control. Anger is in control, We have to be vulnerable in order for all of the emotions to be felt.

And that’s generally a lot harder for somebody who loves control. 

Stephanie: What are some of the things that you do to you move through your anger or acknowledge your sadness?

Clara: The biggest thing that I need I do for myself is to step away. I need to step out of the situation, whatever that situation is. I need space to soften, to let go and breathe, and ideally be quiet. And then I start to kind of chew on what’s really going on or what is it about the other person that really triggered me?

Generally, I find if something triggers me, there’s something there for me to learn. Reflection is key.

I write it out through journaling or the other way I process and reflect is I speak it out, either with my therapist or with a close friend. Another way would be through meditation or through movement itself. But I find these days, I prefer just sitting and kind of observing and asking, why am I affected by this? 

Watch Our Talk On Empaths

Or listen to the podcast on Spotify. 

Tending the Fire: An Inner Alchemy of Desire

Fire: Tending the Inner Flame of Desire

The thornbush is the old obstacle in the road. It must catch fire if you want to go further.

– FRANZ KAFKA –


Last year I visited Dharamsala, India, to experience the culture and the roots of yoga as passed down from my teachers. I had many expectations and assumptions for my travels. None of them manifested. Bless India for hosting with humour, contradiction, and irony. Midway through retreat, I attended a Fire Puja Ceremony where I was layered in gold flowers and dabbed with a spot of turmeric paste at my third eye between my brows. I sat with a small group in a circle overlooking the Himalayas. Eagles soared overhead. Monkeys danced on the rooftop. Drowsy from the heat of the fire and sun, and pulsing with a desire dark and alive, I was elated with trepidation. For hours we sat with the medicine of the fire, feeding the spitting flames a concoction of rice and flowers. With each palmful tossed we were asked to feed our inner flame with the same dedication and fervor, burning away any obstacles and impurities that obstructed our path.

In the presence of fire we may experience an alchemical transformation in our ability to shift our perspective, provoke change, and blaze forward into the unknown. Fire may present us with a healing balm, an inner alchemy, as we dedicate ourselves to the mystery and magic of our will to power. The Fire Puja presented me with an experience to metaphorically feed my inner flame and refine my focus to manifest my desires.

An Expression for Healing and Transformation

We are the alchemists of our own experience.
– Clara Roberts-Oss

Fire Puja is a traditional ritual of healing and purification to cleanse the environment and grant blessings. The significance of a Fire Puja serves to remove obstacles, clear negativity, and repair broken promises. Many cultures honour fire ceremonies as rituals to bring light to the darkness. To honor fire is to revel in the light and heat of its flame, a flame we each have within us that asks us to stand in its intensity and move forward with more clarity. 

The body is a microcosm of the cosmos. As individuals, we contain and reflect the five elements in the atmosphere known as earth, air, fire, water, and ether. We use qualities of the elements to gain an understanding of the ways we interact with the world and ourselves. Fire is sharp, acidic, and mercurial. Expressed as unpredictable, mutable, emotional, and wild. To step into the element of fire is to open ourselves to the possibility of healing through confrontation and manifestation of our desire. To move with the intensity of fire, we examine our inner longing, our deepest desires, and how we want to create and will our thoughts into action. Once anything touches fire, it is never the same. It changes physically and chemically. Once we enter the fire, we are also changed, physically, mentally and emotionally

The flames of fire consume, destroy and create space for growth within the devastation. This may be likened to our ability to receive lessons from the past, let go of all that doesn’t serve, and use our experience to build a better foundation for the future. The flames of fire consume, destroy and create space for growth within the devastation.  The flames will wither and die if we don’t move forward with new ideas and action; cycling through repetitive patterns that may or may not serve us in creating a better future. 

Sankulpa: Cultivate an Inner Will to Power

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
― Rumi

To create patterns that build toward a specific goal or purpose we act consciously and observe our thoughts. When we act unconsciously, we may run the risk of creating habits that don’t serve and contribute to negative samskaras. Samskaras are based on our past impressions and represent deeply rooted, unconscious patterns that affect our way of thinking. All actions and thoughts create memories that are conscious and/or unconscious and contribute to shaping our present habits, behaviors, and tendencies. Whenever a thought or action is repeated overtime, it creates a groove in the neural pathways in the brain that get harder and harder to overcome. This is how habits form. When we consciously establish a habit that serves, such as exercising daily or eating healthy, this builds towards a positive samskara. When we act unconsciously, like scrolling Instagram while eating peanut butter off of a spoon, over time this shapes a negative samskara that we may not be aware of.

Fire: Tending the Inner Flame of Desire

When we continue to do the same things in the same way or fail to question the rules or ideas of the world we live in- and are creating together- we limit ourselves in our capacity to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually. If we don’t question our actions and thoughts, we may never develop the self awareness necessary to break our cycles and shape our destiny as an individual or a collective. To have the courage and confidence to question your habits and confront the ways you do things is to tug at the thread of fate and reveal your own will to power. 

 

Develop strength and discover your inner flame in this Power Centre Vinyasa Yoga class with Clara!

To transcend the limitation of samskara, one may use heat, passion, and discipline to metabolize the experience. It takes patience and practice to break away from the past and build new habits that lead us down the path of self discovery to a destiny we consciously create and will into the world. This takes discipline and a high commitment to stick to what you believe and what you hope to achieve. 

A Sankulpa is the inner resolve to join the mind, heart, and body to align with your deepest core truth or value. Sankulpa comes from the ancient Indian Sanskrit. The root san means (connection to the divine) and kulpa (a vow, heartfelt intention). Sankulpa usually translates as resolution or resolve. It’s a short positive phrase or affirmation to inspire us to create or pursue a particular goal. One who commits to their sankulpa may turn the wheel of fate in their favor or overcome hardship. It takes commitment and confidence to establish a strong sankalpa, to stay in the present and overcome the grooves embedded from your samsaras that threaten to keep you stuck in old habits. 

To break free of the unconscious chains that keep you tethered and stuck, you must move with will and determination into the fire of transformation. It is in the heat, the tension and combustion that we discover our inner resolve and freedom. Once we step into the fire and commit ourselves to the sankulpa, we are on the way to transforming our destiny. It takes inner resolve, a willingness to let go and forgive, and the strength to endure the intensity of the heat, to honour your sankulpa and will your desire into the world.

Sadhana: Tend the Inner Flame of Desire

Act in accordance to your desire without attachment to a preferred outcome.
– Bhagavad Gita 

Living a life of passion and feeding your flame is to honour your sankulpa. The ritual and worship that comes in tending to your passion and living fully with an awareness for presence. When our hearts are full, we are more capable of love and compassion. When we live a life that brings us joy, we are better able to meet the world with kindness. When we act in according to our inner wisdom, we build the confidence to create a life we want for ourselves. This style of living is open to the mysteries of life. It requires a deep appreciation toward all the things that feed your flame, and an inquisitiveness toward those things that diminish it

The Tantrikas, worshipers of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (an ancient text for Tantra and yoga) viewed desire as the way to attain enlightenment and used the realm of the senses to access a higher Consciousness. Desire, for the Tantrikas, was an expression of the Goddess (Shakti) that exists in all things. It is the movement and pull of the universe. To be cut off from desire is to cut ourselves off from the nature of the world and our existence. The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra conveys a practice for non dualism, the idea that the divine exists within you and therefore everything that you do is a manifestation of the divine. Therefore, the senses and our desires are not something to run away from, suppress, or overcome. Desire and the richness of our sense experience should be welcome and expressed to access the diving within.

Desire exists in you as in everything. Realize that it also resides in objects and in all that the mind can grasp. Then, in discovering the universality of desire, enter it’s radiant space. 
– Vijnanabhairava Tantra, Stanza 105

There are two types of desire: one being the spontaneous expression of embodied consciousness (an expression of Shakti and/or the divine) and the other as desire arising from past impressions and conditioning. We may experience the spontaneous expression of the divine when we move with the body’s senses and allow ourselves to feel fully and receive each unique experience. The Tantrikas saw the body as a vessel to receive the world’s incandescence, in contact with the whole of reality through touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell. Navigating the world through our sense experience may give birth to freedom through expressing our desires in movement. When we go and experience things for ourselves, we gain greater awareness of our inner landscape and the world around us. 

Move with the spaciousness and compassion of your heart in this 5-minute Durga Meditation with Clara.

Fire: Tending the Inner Flame of Desire
@MarianneSimonin

An expression of desire through our past impressions and conditioning is limiting and based on the experience of others, not direct contact for ourselves. An obstacle in experiencing spontaneous expression of desire may also be pursuing desire as an object external from ourselves. The Tantrikas saw desire as an ongoing expression, every action was an outlet for desire. Desire was pure love, an expression of Shakti meeting Shiva to give birth to pure consciousness. 

A sadhana is a spiritual exercise to accomplish one’s goal with the ultimate aim of enhancing the expression of reality. Sadhana literally translates to “an effort exercised towards achievement of a purpose”. One who undertakes a practice of sadhana would cultivate a practice to honour their desires and overcome the limitations of the ego to pursue the divine state of consciousness. Sadhana in yoga may look like meditation, mantra, and asana practice where you would take the discipline of completing your sadhana for a specific interval or period. 

Sādhanā is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal. Abhyāsa is repeated practice performed with observation and reflection. Kriyā, or action, also implies perfect execution with study and investigation. Therefore, sādhanā, abhyāsa, and kriyā all mean one and the same thing. A sādhaka, or practitioner, is one who skillfully applies…mind and intelligence in practice towards a spiritual goal.
– B.K.S. Iyengar

Fire: An Acceptance of the Divine

When we acknowledge our desires or make the decision to focus on a specific goal or sadhana, we accept the trials that come with fully committing ourselves. No practice is easy, it takes a lot of discipline to keep showing up for what you want and reap the rewards of your choices. This is where fire, through its passion and purpose, may serve in developing the compassion and courage needed to stick to your resolve. Fire power may show us where we need to shed a bit more light on our uncertainties and grow through the intensity. The power of fire is its alchemy to burn and transform. We may use fire as an acknowledgement of the divine power we each have within us; an inherent ability to resolve, refine, and revitalize our living experience.  May our inner flame feed our desire, a passion in-tune with the spontaneous flow of the universe.

Stephanie
stephaniedawntrembath

Widen the pot and let the universe spill in

Daniel Odier's Tantric Quest

Happy Autumn Equinox!

This is my favorite time of year because we move from being very externally focused to the internal. As I wrote my intentions for the coming season, I came upon this passage and felt it was only fitting. In joy!

More good words from Daniel Odier’s Tantric Quest…..

 

“You see, ecstasy is the natural human state, and the obstacles we create to ecstasy are part of a dictatorial state our thought makes us live in. Ecstasy is simpler than suffering. It smells good. It is present throughout. It is with us always. There is nothing to do and nothing to look for. It’s enough to stay totally open and let things occur without worrying about changing their nature. By our being really present, continuously present, all reality becomes a source of joy and happiness.

You know that the moment for us to take leave of each other has come, and you won’t suffer because the bond that unites us doesn’t unite us to each other but simply passes through us to extend to the whole universe. You don’t belong to me; I don’t belong to you. We belong to the world, to the divine, and at this moment we know what with our whole being. Our bond isn’t subject to time or space. I will be everywhere you look. You have planted yourself firmly in the heart of the goddess, in my heart, just as the goddess remains in yours, as I remain in yours. We are a divine waterfall for each other where we can bathe ourselves in light and quench our absolute thirst.

The universe is a great pot that we never stop shaping with our flesh, our hearts, our thought–with all those little things that we love to separate from one another by artifice. But a good potter sinks their hands into the divine and lets the divine take varied forms. They know that the earth contains the thirty-six modalities of consciousness, and they don’t spend time analyzing them.

While man thinks, the tantrika [practioner] makes a pot. While man confines his consciousness, the tantrika widens the opening of the pot and lets their consciousness experience the void. Distinguishing between what’s insides the pot and what’s outside is possible only if you forget that a pot needs an opening, without which there is seclusion, darkness, rot, and decay.

The tantrika widens their pot. They enjoy letting the universe spill in and penetrate it. When they meditate, they experience a single space. When they undergo change, they experience a single space. When they dream, they experience a single space, and when they die, they experience nothing other than a single space. So for them, there is no difference between meditation, living, dreaming, and dying. To experience a single space–that’s absolute love.”

What I love about Tantric philosophy is that everything is an opportunity to get you closer/discover/remember divinity. Why shy away from adversity or uncomfortable situations that make their way onto our paths? It’s all an opportunity to go deeper into ourselves and let go of more stories/shit that we think we need to hold on to. Widen your pot, watch with wonder as the universe spills into.

Wishing you an awe-inspiring autumn!

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

 

 

 

 

Personal Cuirasses – armour

Personal Cuirasses

I’m rereading one of my favorite books of all time, Tantric Quest. In it, the author goes on a spiritual quest to learn about Kashmir Shivaism. He meets a tantrika who teaches him the philosophy. This passage makes my bones sing. I truly believe that this is a great illusion we’re feeding ourselves. If we just stay open and willing, the armor (curiasses) will crack and the light of our true nature will be seen.

Hari Aum.

 

“The play of purusha [spirit] and prakriti [matter] is limited by the action of these six tattvas called the six cuirasses. They are time, space, lack, limited knowledge, limited creativity and overall illusion.

This is extremely important point of Shivaism, since the consciousness is founded on and set free by these cuirasses, and that’s enlightenment or awakening. These cuirasses are like veils that prevent a spontaneous view of the self. Without them there would be no practice, no search. Everything would appear to us in its absolute nature.

The first cuirass is that of being subject to the illusion that time exists and that we are bound by it. This illusion fixes us within a limited time frame. It gives us the impression that time passes. After awakening, one discovers with wonder a new terrain where nothing is subject to time. It’s like waking up after a bad dream and realizing that this restriction was artificially imposed upon consciousness…That’s the first breath of awakening. It gives back a vitality, a color, and a clarity to everything seen outside of time.

The second cuirass is that which makes us believe we are subject to the illusion of space and that we are located there…After awakening, we realize suddenly that we are omnipresent…We are everywhere. There’s no point in space that is not our center…Once the boundaries of the ego shatter, the divine returns to the divine, energy to energy, space to space, the heart to the heart. Then anything is possible but nothing is certain…The highest Tantric teachings say that fundamentally there is no birth and no death, only the illusion…The debate over annihilation or eternal life is something adepts transcend as soon as they recognize the nature of their own minds.

The third cuirass is the illusion of believing that we lack something, that we are not whole. This is the illusion that pushes us to always be searching for a way, a teaching, a practice, one realization after another. It’s the one that pushes us beyond the Self. It’s the one that makes us unhappy, that makes us keep looking for new ways to be complete…Knowing this, the master invites the disciple to stop all external searching. No route leads to the Self. The true Tantric teacher is not me, nor some other; it’s the Self. There’s nothing to find out there. Everything divine that we look for out there is in us. To realize that is to find freedom.

The fourth cuirass is the illusion of believing that what we can know, what we apprehend of the absolute, is limited. We torture ourselves. We want to experience awakening…We are like a maharaja who owns unlimited land and walks along the wall that surrounds his palaces, mistaking himself for a beggar. No on would give him anything to eat for fear of insulting him or being punished. We have such thirst for knowledge that we are fooled by our power to know. It focuses on the exterior and deceives us with the illusion that we are going to find what we lack. Divine knowledge doesn’t grow by accumulation. The more you try to pile knowledge and experience, the more you paralyze your consciousness. Let’s abandon this knowledge. It inflates pride. When I say intelligence is not the way, I don’t mean to say intelligence must be rejected. I am simply saying that intelligence which accomplishes anything appears unsolicited. In tranquility it shines like a diamond. Let us return simply to the source of our consciousness and find there the treasure we sought on the outside. It’s enough to sit down, to forget books and discussion, to direct our attention toward the heart. There the divine is found. There is the place of respiration where our breath mingles naturally. The infinite is no more than that harmonious breathing, free of all thought.

The fifth cuirass is the illusion we harbor in believing our creativity is limited, sometimes even doubting that we possess the least trace of it. That’s what pushes us to revere what others produce. To have beauty flow past us isn’t enough. This urge, which can open us up to our unlimited creativity, is restrained by the idea that we aren’t capable of such splendor. We remain without a voice, the ribcage is constricted, overwhelmed by the beauty of the world. If we truly breathed, this cuirass would explode, and the object of our admiration would no longer be found in duality. The beauty of the world would then be ours. Mystical ecstasy is just this sudden explosion of the small me, which recognizes the divine Self. Everything gathered up in the consciousness is then projected into the infinite, and one can cry out in joy because in this moment all the beauty of world becomes part of the Self.

The five cuirasses are surrounded by a supreme cuirass, which is that of maya, illusion, in its own nature, which welds these different protective plates together and insures their artificial cohesion. We are decorated like fighting elephants, forever goaded by their driver. We advance with all our weight to get through life, never ceasing to battle. But one day, the battle takes a turn that leaves us covered with poisoned arrows. A young girl brings us something to drink…She bathes us in the river, and suddenly we find our grace, our lightness, our beauty again. So nothing stops us from spontaneously grasping the divine in ourselves. What we don’t know is that the smallest experience can be just this miraculous meeting with the small girl. So little can suffice. The scent of a flower, an open look, a breeze brushing against us–and suddenly the most solid of the cuirasses cracks, and through this gap all reality penetrates us, freeing us forever from gravity and separation.”

Daniel Odier, Tantric Quest

 

 

PS.

Catch me at my next yoga event

To see my latest playlists follow me on spotify

 

 

 

 

Yantra Meditation

Yandra meditation

I came across this and wanted to share it with you…

 

Yantra Meditation

As you look at the yantra, allow your eyes to focus on its center. This dot in the center is called the Bindu, which represents the unity that underlies all the diversity of the physical world.

Now allow your eyes to see the triangle that encloses the bindu. The downward pointing triangle represents the feminine creative power, while the upward facing triangle represents male energy.

Allow your vision to expand to include the circles outside of the triangles. They represent the cycles of cosmic rhythms. The image of the circle embodies the notion that time has no beginning and no end. The farthest region of space and the innermost nucleus of an atom both pulsate with the same rhythmic energy of creation. That rhythm is within you and without you.
Bring your awareness to lotus petals outside the circle. Notice that they are pointing outwards, as if opening. They illustrate the unfolding of our understanding. The lotus also represents the heart, the seat of the Self. When the heart opens, understanding comes.

The square at the outside of the yantra represents the world of form, the material world that our senses show us, the illusion of separateness, of well defined edges and boundaries. At the periphery of the figure are four T-shaped portals, or gateways. Notice that they point toward the interior of the yantra, the inner spaces of life. They represent our earthly passage from the external and material to the internal and sacred.

Now take a moment to gaze into the yantra, letting the different shapes and patterns emerge naturally, allowing your eyes to be held loosely in focus. Gaze at the center of the yantra on the page. Without moving your eyes, gradually begin to expand your field of vision. Continue expanding your vision until you are taking in information from greater than 180 degrees. Notice that all this information was there all along, you just became aware of it. Now slowly reverse the process by re-focusing back to the center of the yantra. Now gently close your eyes. You may still see the yantra in your mind’s eye. The patterns of creativity represented by these primordial shapes express the fundamental forces of nature. They govern the world and they govern you.

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

 

 

 

 

I Belong Here

I belong here

To create balance and calmness in your life, you have to go towards yoga as meditating allows you to just calm down for some time and get in touch with yourself. There are many teachers around the world who instil this calmness in their student through yoga. Lorin Roche is a teacher of this living tradition. According to Shiva Rea, he is a champion at this as he helps awaken consciousness in his students. Even though yoga is an Eastern concept, Roche brought it to the Western world. If you have found a connection with the world of Rumi and Hafiz, you will be fond of Roche’s words too.

Lorin Roche’s Writings

He writes about everything that you need to look for in yourself. As human beings, we often forget that we are a representation of his whole universe. There is a universe inside every single one of us and Roche’s profound verses help you in looking for these parts of you. His poetry is filled with an insight into the divine things and the importance of meditation for personal development.

Lorin started his journey when he was just 18 years of age. He worked alongside people who were doing a research project on meditation and its physiology. Being the control group of this research, he had to sit and do nothing. For many weeks, his brain waves were studies. During this time, he entered a state that is called intense alertness. Later, he read a book 112 Meditation Practices and he was delighted to find out that he had similar experiences in the lab. The same book also introduced him to yoga text from centuries ago.

Lorin Roche’s ‘Belong’

Roche talks about the importance of your heart. It is the centre of your body where everything comes together. If you want to look for a person, his heart is where you would find his. This is where the senses, mind and soul come together. Even though so much is happening in the heart, this is where you will find a spot to rest. If you are looking for a sense of regal steadiness, it is in your heart. Once you find the way to your heart, you will be called towards it again and again because that is where you Belong.

The One Who Is at Play Everywhere says,

There is a space in the heart
Where everything meets.
Come here if you want to find me.
Mind, senses, soul, eternity–all are here.
Are you here?

Enter the bowl of vastness that is the heart.
Listen to the sound that is always resonating.
Give yourself to it with total abandon.
Quiet ecstasy is here–

And a steady, regal sense
Of resting in a perfect spot.

You who are the embodiment of blessing,
Once you know the way,
The nature of attention will call you to return.
Again and again, answer that call,
And be saturated with knowing,
“I belong here, I am at home.”

 

Read the full book here:

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

 

 

Breadcrumbs in Dark Times

Breadcrumbs in dark times

A great article I came across thanks to the lovely Julia McCabe…..

Breadcrumbs in Dark Times: any minute now, everything will change.

By Shavawn M. Berry

“Allow dark times to season you.” ~ Hafiz

When the Going Gets Tough…

These days, the rough patch we’re navigating has turned into a very long haul. I believe we’ll weather the changes. I believe we’re strong enough to do so. Still, it’s easy to fall into despair and wish that our journey wasn’t so rife with trouble.

Right now, we’re in a thick soup of changes that rival any changes we’ve weathered in human history. The shit’s hitting the fan — environmentally, economically, emotionally — and everywhere we look, people are losing it. Shooting up the joint. Setting themselves on fire. Totaling their cars. Blowing up their personal lives.

Now Entering Transformation Station.

Transformation is not optional right now. It is required. We cannot continue to fumble blindly in the darkness, unaware of the light we possess. We must solve the problems we’ve created.

And although this awakening is painful — like road rash, or a broken bone that hasn’t been set yet — we can’t wait for rescue. Not this time. We are the people we are waiting for. We must step up and take the reins. There is no one else. Just us.

What has always worked, no longer works.

It’s been heartening to hear that Marianne Williamson is running for congress. She told Larry King that we cannot make decisions for humanity based upon economics alone.

I agree. Capitalists are pragmatic by nature. They will never look at the long term consequences of their policies. They look at the bottom line, the current returns, the profit margins — without ever considering whether their approach is actually sustainable. In a world of limited resources, it is not.

As a result, we’re now tasked with learning to live more softly, reverently, and carefully.

Be here now, even if the thought absolutely terrifies you.

Continue reading here:

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2014/01/24/breadcrumbs-in-dark-times/

{Can you feel it?}

 

 

Ayurveda

Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, is such a vast subject. Where to begin??

There are a lot of great sites to check out. Two people I recommend  are Maria Garre and Todd Caldecott

I do recommend seeing an Ayurvedic doctor if you are having specific issues. Most articles are very general. Please take them with a grain of salt.  I found this article to be very helpful.

xo

What is Ayurveda?

by Hilary Garivaltis

Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world. Drawn from an understanding of nature’s rhythms and laws, Ayurveda is built around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth.

It is understood in Ayurveda that humans, as natural beings, are governed by the same rules and laws as all other natural beings. If we choose to ignore these laws, then imbalances will begin to appear. These imbalances are the precursor to disharmony and disease in the mind and body. This system of medicine understands our deepest connections with the whole universe and the influences of the energies that make up this universe. We are considered a microcosm of the macrocosm.

The Ayurvedic worldview is based on the archetypical elements of ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Ether and earth are static in nature while air, fire, and water are dynamic and ever changing. These elements have inherent energies that govern their functions. We are all made up of all of these energies, but each individual has slightly different proportions of the individual elements, making everyone unique in their own constitutional makeup.

An Ayurvedic approach treats each individual, taking into account his/her own unique psychological, emotional, and physical conditions. Imbalances in the body are evaluated through the system of the elements. Because our world and bodies are constantly adjusting to new environments, when these environments become imbalanced we feel it in some way.

Ayurvedic medicine concentrates on prevention and understanding one’s own makeup and focuses on how the outer world and environments affect one’s daily life. The goal of Ayurveda is to teach people how to attain optimal health through a deeper understanding of themselves and their own particular nature in relationship to the world around them. It is a system based on natural healing through strengthening the body, mind, and spirit and allowing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to work to their fullest potential.

 

Ayurvedic Tips for Balanced Living Beneficial Daily Routines

  •    Rise before the sunrise.

   •    Drink a full glass (8 oz.) of room temperature or warm water.

   •    Clean your face, mouth and nasal passages and gargle with salt water.

   •    Do some light yoga or stretching exercises.

   •    Meditate for 20 minutes.

   •    Take a walk or run for ½ hour, 3–4 times per week.

   •    Have a nutritional breakfast according to your body type.

   •    Have a relaxing or complete meal at lunchtime. 11–2 pm.

   •    Relax for ½ hour after lunch.

   •    Meditate in late afternoon before evening meal for 20 minutes.

   •    Eat dinner between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. This should not be a heavy meal.

   •    Allow two hours after your dinner before going to bed.

   •    Bedtime 10:00–11:00 pm.

   •    Give thanks.

Continue reading at http://www.kripalu.org/article/223/

Hilary Garivaltis is the Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. She received her training at the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, with advanced training in India from the Rishikesh College of Ayurveda and the Jiva Institute.

 

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event